[Forward note: my frustrations when dealing with the locals has reached a point where I could not resist from writing this letter to the president. One may invest heavily into faster internet or infrastructure, for faster transport, but if the people continue to move slower than snails, it can be a wasted investment.]
Dear Mr. President Duterte, I have been following you closely and would like to compliment you on a lot of your decisions. I am a businessman and for me I see as very good your desire to speed up the internet and invest into infrastructure. In any case, I have one small suggestion which I think could have a great positive effect in your country. I've been here for two years now and must say that it can be incredibly frustrating the pace things can take to get done here. If someone wants to make a phone and needs a keyboard, the person making the keyboard waits for the person making the keys, and the person to make the keys waits for the person who makes the numbers, and you can see by this chain that if each person took forever to do their small part, it would take forever times forever before the phone is made, probably well after it has already become obsolete technology. I believe this may be one of the biggest reasons your country is poor. Look at Singapore. They do not have fish practically jumping out of the water into their mouths for free. They have no resources like this country is rich in, yet it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Their only resource is their hands, and quick and honest work. They do not constantly try to increase their price every time you go to their store. And I believe the reason people are so incredibly slow here is precisely because your country is so full of resources and fish jumping out of the water. It is paradise here and people have naturally developed the mentality: "There is always tomorrow". I organise boat tours, one of my businesses, and it is often a struggle to explain to the boatmen that these tourists have paid a lot of money to fly all the way out here to enjoy this beautiful paradise for a short while, and pay to stay in expensive hotels etc., so when they show up on time to start their boat tour at 8am and stand around waiting for at least an hour for the boatman to eventually lazily show up, you can understand that they can get upset, because their limited vacation time is being eaten away by someone who is used to it and gets to live here all the time. Therefore, my suggestion is the following. As president of a country where such a high percentage of people support you and agree with you, I believe it can have a great effect just to explain something like this to your people: "Do not think there is always tomorrow to do a job, because tomorrow will come and again you might say 'there is always tomorrow'. And one tomorrow leads to the next and soon enough weeks, months or even more time may have passed by before you finally did that one little job, which you had to do anyway. So postponing it does not make it go away, and if everyone delays their little job, it can practically bring the country down to a grinding halt. But no, if we change our way of thinking and do a job not only today but NOW, you will see how much faster as a nation we can accomplish anything." And not only say this a few times as your plea to the nation, saying that you (as do I) have great faith in this nation's abilities, but to get some ads on tv or something to get this message across. People can still live in their paradise and everything can be the same, except things would get done much faster. I believe you have the same thoughts as I do that the Philippines is poised to enter the world scene with a good bang. I am convinced it is an up and coming tourist hotspot. I lived in Thailand for two years and this country absolutely kicks butt compared to Thailand. People just need to learn to hustle a little bit and not be so absolutely lazy and slow about everything. It is just a small adjustment in people's mentality. They do not need to sweat and go crazy, simply go through the motions and get it done now and not later. Thank you for your time and keep up the good work Mr. President, Karel
We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.